Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the stimulus package the federal government is preparing may cover a 10-12 week time span. The package is designed to combat the devastating economic effects due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mnuchin appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the stimulus package that Congress is currently working on to address the financial impact of the disease, when he revealed the time frame that the government is planning for.
“What is the time frame in which this stimulus package is designed to work?” host John Roberts asked him.
“I hope this gets passed on Monday because we need the money now. We’re looking at this from anywhere to a 10 to 12 week scenario. But again, this situation is moving quickly, we need to get the money into the economy now,” Mnuchin said. “If we do that we think we can stabilize the economy.”
“I think the president has every expectation that this is going to look a lot better four or eight weeks from now,” he added.
Roberts asked the Treasury Secretary what would happen if after 10 weeks businesses were still shuttered, asking if people don’t start flying or visiting hotels, could there be a second stimulus.
Mnuchin insisted that the economy was still strong and that this financial crisis won’t last for years, but what was needed was a temporary bridge to help in the meantime.
“How long can we stay in the situation we are in now before this temporary damage becomes permanent,” Roberts asked, adding that many small businesses were already going under every day.
Mnuchin said that the stimulus package will help half of the private workforce and pushed aside questions about whether the economy is currently in a recession.
Mnuchin’s statements echo those of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said that he expects the quarantine to last for several more weeks.
The treasury secretary explained that the stimulus is aimed at rescuing those impacted by the pandemic. The package will include direct deposit payments for Americans that will average $3,000 for a family of four. Though it has been rumored that there will be two different payments, Mnuchin clarified that this would be a one-time payment for now.
The stimulus will also include money for hospitals and medical professionals, along with loans for small businesses to get them back on their feet once the outbreak has receded.
There will also be money for airlines and other industries being decimated by the crisis.
The U.S. had 25,000-plus cases of the virus as of Sunday morning, with at least 325 people dead. Mnuchin insisted during the interview that no one expected the virus to explode like it had, though some reports contradict this statement, indicating that the Trump administration was warned well in advance.